West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to withdraw her alleged comment declaring that the Trinamool Congress will observe July 21 as "a day of jihad against the BJP".
In a letter to Banerjee, Dhankhar claimed that such an "authoritarian and undemocratic" statement will bring the "death knell" of democracy and rule of law. The governor wrote the letter after a BJP delegation, led by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, called on him to seek constitutional intervention for her statement allegedly made at a program in Asansol on Tuesday.
"You are urged to forthwith withdraw this most unconstitutional declaration of 'jihad' against the BJP on 21 July 2022," Dhankhar wrote to the chief minister and shared a copy of the communication on his Twitter handle. The TMC marks July 21 as the martyr's day every year in memory of 13 Youth Congress workers who were killed allegedly in police firing during a rally on that day in 1993 when Banerjee was in the Congress and the CPI(M)-led Left Front was in power in the state.
Questioning how a chief minister can make such a statement, Dhankhar said that it is most unfortunate and indicates "constitutional anarchy". TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh claimed that Dhankhar is proactive to the saffron party's complaints while being "mum" on the ruling party's complaints against Adhikari about his statement that the TMC government will be toppled in 2024. He alleged that the governor is acting as an agent of the BJP.
According to the Oxford dictionary, 'jihad', an Arabic word now used in several other languages, means "a struggle or fight against the enemies of Islam" or "the spiritual struggle within oneself against sin".